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5 Ways to Honor the Military this Memorial Day

5 Ways to Honor the Military this Memorial Day

By kmurray, Contributor and Moderator
Published: May 7, 2014

Did you know that May is Military Appreciation Month? And with Memorial Day coming up, it’s a perfect opportunity for your small business to honor the service of our veterans and military men and women. Here’s a look at some ideas to consider from that go beyond a traditional discount on products or services with inspiration from Kathryn Hawkins, who writes extensively on business and entrepreneurship.

  • Collections for troops – Host a collection for items deployed troops need. Let customers know via email newsletters and social media – in addition to in-store signage – that you’ll be gathering items to send overseas. Check out efforts like Operation Gratitude for specifics about how you can help and what our soldiers need.
  • Discounts and free offers – Customize a special offer for those who present military ID, such as 20 percent off your product or service. If you can afford it, toss in a little something extra with a purchase. Run a restaurant? Sweeten the deal with free dessert at the end of the meal.
  • Volunteering – Know a local military family in need? Round up employees to donate time and materials to help out on a project or effort. For example, says Hawkins, if there’s a need for a home renovation project and you run a hardware store, you can donate tools or building materials. Own a nursery? Offer plants or flowers. If you have a café, consider providing a meal or lightening the cooking load with help in the kitchen.
  • Highlight soldiers’ stories – Through email newsletters, Facebook or your other social media channels, pay respect to those who have fallen and express gratitude for those you know who are currently serving. Invite customers to share their stories as well. This kind of effort is great to add another personal (and memorable) touch to your business relationships.  
  • Parades – Does your town or city host a Memorial Day Parade? Many do, and they ask local businesses to sponsor floats to support the cost of the parade. This is a great way to show your support and honor service members, and it also gets your business name out there in a unique way to parade-goers or to folks watching on television. Check in with your local chamber of commerce to learn what’s happening in your area.

However you decide to honor the military this year, customize your effort to make it work for your business. And don’t forget to record what you do and share it on your website, social media or through email. Your customers and community will be glad to know what you’re up to and the successes that benefit the military community.

About the Author:

kmurray
Katie Murray

Contributor and Moderator

I am an author and moderator for the the SBA.gov Community. I'll share useful information for your entrepreneurial endeavors and help point you in the right direction to find other resources for your small business needs. Thanks for joining our online community here at SBA.gov!